You and your ex are both from Tennessee. It’s where you grew up, where you met and where you got married. During that marriage, you never really talked about moving anywhere else.
In any case, you got a divorce last year. You were granted visitation rights and physical custody rights on the weekends. For the most part, your children live with your ex to make things easier when they’re in school, but you still get to see them a lot. You feel close to them.
However, your oldest just told you that your ex has been looking for jobs in other states. What could this mean?
Are they trying to take the kids?
The court generally frowns on a parent relocating after a divorce. If your ex moves to Michigan, for example, that can interfere with your custody rights because you’ll never see your children.
However, that’s not to say that relocation is impossible. One thing the court looks for is a “good faith” reason to move, that offers a legitimate improvement to the child’s quality of life. One of the reasons they will sometimes accept is that the parent has been offered a better job in a different area.
Other examples including going to school, moving to be closer to family and trying to reduce the cost of living. But, in your case, it’s the job that is something of a red flag.
Could it be that your ex wants to move with the children and knows that he or she needs a reason? Are they looking for an out-of-state job just so that they can petition the court to allow them to move with the kids? And, if they do, how is this going to impact your custody rights?
Examining your rights
These are all important questions to ask. Clearly, there are times when parents need to move, which is why the court may allow it, but the goal is also to keep children involved with both parents whenever possible. Sometimes, these two factors end up at odds, and that’s when you really need to know what legal options you have.